China's ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua said during a public speech on Tuesday in Tokyo that the development of artificial islands in the South China Sea are for civic purposes that could benefit the international community.
Cheng dismissed concerns from some quarters about China's testing of a newly-built airfield on a reef in the South China Sea, stating that the aircraft used was civilian and that all tests were within international laws.
He said the airfield could potentially serve as a hub for rescue operations and maintained that other facilities being built, such as lighthouses and facilities for maritime rescue purposes on the Nansha Islands, would facilitate oceanic research and provide medical and a plethora of other services and benefits.
The airfield, owing to its convenient location, is also well-placed to help facilitate maritime research and conservation projects.
Development of China's islands in its territorial seas will by no means undermine the regional peace and stability, Cheng maintained, but rather will be of great benefit to maritime safety and enhance the facilitation of potential search and rescue efforts, disaster prevention measures, meteorological monitoring as well as ecological protection efforts.
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